The REAL difference between EVE Grade A and Grade B LiFePO4 Prismatic Cells
The first question to ask is; how do you know what grade LiFePO4 prismatic cells you’re buying?
You may think your perfectly organised series of cells currently synced to your 100w solar panels are trusty Grade A’s, when actually, completely unknown to you, they are Grade B cells.
It’s all well and good trusting retailers' assumptions of whether a prismatic cell is Grade A, B or even C - however, our recent analysis of the market has come to find that many retailers are not being anywhere near as transparent as you’d expect. Most 'Grade A' prismatic cells being sold online by other retailers, are in fact Grade B’s.
When Fogstar started analysing the LiFePO4 prismatic market last October, we very quickly realised that it was remarkably simple for retailers to pass an EVE Grade B prismatic cell as a Grade A cell. In fact, the only way to technically distinguish between Grade A and B EVE cells is via the manufacturers database.
Our jump into the world of larger capacity batteries has been somewhat eye opening. We’ve become aware of huge battery conglomerates taking Grade B LiFepo4 cells, lasering off the QR codes and passing them off as Grade A cells. These cells are then being sold to huge retailers, consumers and even corporations around the world as Grade A cells at inflated prices.
You won’t see any of this from Fogstar. Quite the opposite in fact. In the interests of complete transparency, you’ll find listings for Grade A cells and Grade B cells, separately, on the Fogstar website.
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions from customers regarding Grade B prismatics.
How can I tell the difference between Grade A and Grade B prismatic cells?
If you look carefully, you’ll see a visual difference between the prismatic cells quite quickly.
Other than the glaring differences in the terminals and size differences between the 280ah and 105ah cells, you won’t see any obvious visual differences.
Grade B cells are categorised so, primarily to prevent them from being used in automotive applications, for example you won't see any used in electric vehicles, but they are an excellent choice when it comes to energy storage.
Why do Grade B cells have such a poor reputation?
In all honesty, we have absolutely no idea! Our MD Ben uses Grade B cells to power his motorhome gadgets.
That aside, we believe the use of Grade B cells across the market has been somewhat tainted by battery enthusiasts, YouTubers and DIY channels - many of whom were unknowingly testing poor quality, cheap unbranded prismatic cells to begin with. Given the state of some of the batteries we’ve seen tested on YouTube channels, there is a high possibility they are in fact testing Grade C cells unknowingly.
Why is there such a huge price difference between Grade A and Grade B prismatic cells?
Grade B prismatic cells are great if you’re looking for low cost capacity. At £149.99 for 280ah Grade B cells - these cells are a low cost way of powering off-grid equipment including solar panels, campervans, boats, golf carts, garden rooms - the list goes on.
With belts tightening, global economies squeezing and life becoming that little bit more expensive - Grade B prismatics offer a great alternative to Grade A cells. They offer the same advanced Lithium Iron Phosphate technology and have a lifespan of around 6000 cycles.
If you’re looking for LiFePO4 technology, but can’t quite stretch to the budget of Grade A cells, Grade B cells offer the perfect alternative.
How can we be certain that the prismatic cells from Fogstar are definitely Grade A and Grade B?
If you’re aware of Fogstar, you’ll know all about how we source our products, test our products and about our mission to eradicate every fake 18650 lithium-ion battery from the market. This mission doesn’t just stop at 18650 batteries. Finding, and removing fake, non compliant batteries from the market is pretty much why we exist.
When it comes to our EVE Grade A and Grade B prismatic cells, each one is sourced directly from the factory. We do not use an intermediary, nor do we use an agent. We have Fogstar employees working directly with EVE to ensure the quality of the products are exactly as Fogstar would expect.
All supporting documentation including UN38.3, specification reports and material safety data sheets are fully available for all of our prismatics - Grade A and Grade B.
We’ll be capacity testing the Grade A and Grade B cells in another blog shortly, but hopefully this short blog has alleviated some concerns you may have about the Grade B prismatics we will be stocking.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to get in touch with our team at any time. We have a reputation for great customer service and we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.